LAHORE: While Prime Minister Imran Khan asked bureaucrats on Friday to take bold decisions without political pressure, the Punjab government issued show-cause notices to two deputy commissioners for “violating the chain of command” by reporting political meddling by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf legislators.
Sources in the Punjab government said the deputy commissioners of Chakwal and Rajanpur had been asked why they should not be tried under the Punjab Employees Efficiency, Discipline and Accountability Act 2006 (removal from service) for violating the chain of command.
It is learnt that two inquiries into the complaints lodged by the deputy commissioners have been received by the Punjab government and sent to Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar.
Officers accuse PTI legislators of interfering in administrative matters
The sources said the inquiries held both DCs responsible for violating the chain of command as well as releasing the official matter to the media. They said the two officers belonging to the provincial management service were likely to be removed from their offices after Ashura.
Chakwal DC Ghulam Saghir Shahid and Rajanpur DC Allah Ditta Warraich had closely served former chief minister Shahbaz Sharif’s son Hamza Shahbaz at the chief minister’s secretariat. They were posted as deputy commissioners towards the end of the PML-N government’s term.
The Chakwal DC had on Sept 3 accused PTI MNA Sardar Zulifqar Ali Khan of “political interference in the administrative matters” and sought action against the lawmaker.
Ghulam Saghir had written a two-page letter reporting that the MNA from NA-64 had sent him a list of 17 patwaris and girdawars, seeking their transfer and posting according to his will. The MNA later visited the DC as well to press him to do the needful.
Alleging that the MNA had hurled threats, the DC sought action against the legislator and addressed his complaint to the chief election commissioner, the chief justice of Pakistan and the Punjab chief secretary.
The very next day, a similar case of political meddling was reported by Rajanpur DC Allah Ditta Warraich. He stated that PTI MNA Sardar Nasrullah Khan Dareshak and his sons MPA Sardar Hasnain Bahadar Dareshak (now minister for livestock and dairy development), Sardar Ali Raza Dareshak (former MPA) and MPA Awais Dareshak were pressurising him for transfer and posting of various revenue and Border Military Police officials.
In his complaint addressed to the Dera Ghazi Khan commissioner, the Rajanpur DC stated that MNA Dareshak along with Awais Dareshak had humiliated him in his office on Sept 1 and asked that all transfers of patwaris and BMP officials should be made according to his instructions.
He requested the D.G. Khan commissioner to refer the matter to the competent authority to initiate proceedings against the MNA as per law on the charges of political interference in the working of the office of the deputy commissioner and humiliating a government servant for not according him undue and unlawful protocol. The DC also sent the copies of his complaint to the CEC, Punjab chief secretary and secretary to the chief minister.
The Rawalpindi and D.G. Khan commissioners, who conducted the inquiries of their respective subordinates, stated that the two DCs had violated the “chain of command” as clearly mentioned in the rules of business of civil service.
“The violation of chain of command warrants strict disciplinary action against the two deputy commissioners,” a senior official said.
Defending the conduct of elected people, Senior Minister Aleem Khan said that ministers, MNAs and MPAs would have to “interfere” on reports of mala fide actions by government officials to establish the writ of the government. “Officials cannot be given a free hand if the political government is to be held responsible,” the minister added.
Published in Dawn, September 15th, 2018